Currents Winter 2018

  • March 14, 2018
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Last month, the Olympic Games were a part of the nightly milieu of our household – our television tuned persistently to the primetime sport du jour. The rooted tradition, the pomp and circumstance, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, all a part of the sport and theater that combine to make the Olympics so captivating. And while the medal ceremonies honor those select few who make it onto the podium, I find it equally interesting to contemplate those who do not. These elite athletes have dedicated the past four years, and in some cases a lifetime, to training for a chance at Olympic glory.

After the closing ceremonies the Olympic athletes went home. For a very few there were victory parades and six-figure endorsement contracts. But what about the rest? For many, it may be time to choose another path, to reinvent themselves. It is not unlike what we encounter with our clients each and every day. Many of us work our whole lives with an end goal of retirement. We have plans, we save; we effectively train for a healthy retirement. Just like athletes facing injuries, we encounter unexpected circumstances-illness, unexpected expenses, losses, divorce, market movements- along the way. But as long as we stay the course and retain our discipline we overcome them.

Training for retirement, just like athletic training, is a marathon and not a sprint. As just one example, the range of returns you can expect from investments narrows dramatically over longer time periods: over a one year period stock returns have ranged from -39% to +47% whereas over rolling 20 year periods they have ranged from 7% to 17%. As your Advisors, we are here as your financial coaches to help you see the value in keeping the long run perspective and on focusing on the ultimate goal.

And when retirement does come, many ask “now what”? “What’s next?” The fact is that retirement is not an ending but an opportunity for new beginnings. It provides a chance to explore what truly matters and the time to pursue the interests and activities that answer this question. Whether it is family, friends, leisure, a second career or giving back, your flame should burn brighter than ever as you enjoy that rare intersection of time, health and money.

Jill Fopiano

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